Frequently Asked Questions About Lead

Is my water safe?

We are proud of the high-quality and safe drinking water we provide our customers every day, and we take this responsibility seriously. Your drinking water meets and exceeds all the federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. 


Health Impacts of Lead

When ingested, it can cause various health problems, especially for pregnant women and children. The greatest concern is the impact of lead on the developing brain.

Consult with your health care provider for more information. 


Replacing Lead Lines

Older homes may contain lead pipes or faucets that can contribute to lead exposure. Working on lead pipes near or within your home, lead may leach into the water as it passes through the pipes. 

 

Our Lead Service Line Replacement Program allows us to replace lead service lines at zero cost to the homeowner if certain requirements are met. If you do not meet the requirements and still want to have your lead service line replaced, you are responsible for the costs of the replacement.

Tenants should contact their landlords about a lead service line replacement.

More info  


State and Federal Regulations

The current allowable level for lead set by the state of Michigan and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 15 parts per billion (ppb).
 
In 2018, the state updated its Lead and Copper Rule. The new allowable action level of 12 ppb will take effect on January 1, 2025.

Minimizing Lead in Drinking Water

We are always enhancing our corrosion-control treatment to lower water pipe oxidation and prevent lead or copper from leaching into the drinking water. We replace lead service lines at zero cost to the property owner during a water main construction project or an emergency leak.

 

Tips on how to minimize your lead exposure:
  • If water is not used for a few hours, run the kitchen or any bathroom faucet for at least 5 minutes. You can also run the dishwasher, shower, or use a washing machine.
  • Use only cold water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula. Boiling water does not remove lead from water. 
  • Clean your faucet’s screen, also known as an aerator. Click here for steps on how clean your aerator.
  • A licensed plumber can help you identify the materials in your home plumbing and inform you about alternate lead-free materials.


Do I have a Lead Line?  

We notify property owners if there is a potential or verified lead line serving the property. Property owners received a notice from the Grand Rapids Water System in February 2020. A property owner will receive the notice when a new water account is open. There is no action or replacement required now.

Property owners are responsible for notifying their tenants of the notice. 

We have developed a new tool where you can search for your property address and determine the material of your water service line. 

View Map 


Water Filters

We do not provide water filters. We sample the tap water annually, and our lead levels are well below the allowable lead level.

If you buy a water filter, read the packaging to ensure the filter is NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certified for lead reduction. We recommend that you follow the manufacturer's directions to install and maintain the water filter. Click here to learn more about water filters certified to reduce lead.

I Received a Postcard Offering to Test my Water for Free

You may have received a postcard from a private company encouraging you to have your water tested. 

We’re not affiliated with this company or any other company that offers to test your water or recommends you install a home water treatment system. 

State and Local Resources

Michigan Lead Safe

michigan.gov/mileadsafe/

Michigan’s Revised Lead and Copper Rule FAQs

graham.umich.edu/project/revised-lead-and-copper-rule/faq?utm-source=advisory-board

Kent County Health Department

accesskent.com/Health/Lead/

Get the Lead Out!

gettheleadoutgr.org/

Don’t Play Around

dontplayaround.org